We've been wondering for months what Sony plans to do with the stumbling Amazing Spider-Man franchise, and now it seems we have an answer.
After The Amazing Spider-Man 2's poor critical reception and, more importantly, underwhelming box-office numbers (it's the lowest-grossing Spider-Man movie ever), it became clear that Sony was feeling the effects of Spider-Man fatigue, and that something would have to be done to salvage the studio's ambitious plans for the franchise to expand, including two more Amazing flicks and spinoffs focusing on Venom and the Sinister Six. There's been a lot of speculation, and some people wondered if we'd ever see an Amazing Spider-Man 3 at all. Well, we don't yet know where the story of Peter Parker and his foes will go, but we now know when we'll find out.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony has slated the Drew Goddard-directed Sinister Six spinoff flick, focusing on the titular six Spidey villains, for Nov. 11, 2016. They've also moved The Amazing Spider-Man 3 from its previously scheduled June 10, 2016, release date to 2018 (when The Amazing Spider-Man 4 was originally supposed to hit). The June 2016 release date will now be occupied by Sony's videogame adaptation, Uncharted.
According to THR, though it's still only a "rough script," Sony is "very high" on Goddard's Sinister Six concept, and now it seems they're banking on it to hold audience interest while they take extra time to retool Peter Parker's story after Amazing 2's poor reception. The formation of the Six was set up by Harry Osborn/Green Goblin at the end of Amazing Spider-Man 2, but the film also seemed to very heavily tease the next phase of Peter's story. Now we're jumping straight to the villains, most of whom don't even have origin stories in this particular universe yet. But hey, Green Goblin's origin didn't get much screen time in the last flick, so what's to stop Sony from pushing ahead with the other villains?
There are, of course, still quite a few question marks surrounding this news. We don't know what the exact lineup of the Six will be, though we can make some educated guesses. We don't know if Spider-Man will pop up at all in Sinister Six. We don't know just how much Peter Parker's future will change between now and 2018. We don't know if director Marc Webb will wait around long enough to helm another installment of the franchise. We do know, though, that Sony seems for the moment to be counting on Goddard to deliver. He left Marvel's Daredevil to focus on this film, and he's certainly delivered before. Now we'll all be watching to see if he can do it again and right this ship.